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Sunday, April 3, 2011


Yes, Spanish probably would have been a better language to pick up given the vast amount of native speakers available, but I was reading all these linguistics books and they were all saying how the distinctive characteristics of Turkish are vowel harmony and extensive agglutination. And if you are like me, you read that and said - What?  Which meant that I had to check it out!

Basically vowel harmony means that certain vowels cannot be found near each other so you change the vowel (oh and Turkish has more vowels then English.)

Agglutination means that words are created by adding suffixes to a stem or base.  English does it with words like antidisestablishmentarianism, or very simply when we add an ‘s’ to make a word plural, or an ‘ed’ to change the tense of a verb.  In Turkish one word can carry enough morphemes (parts) so one word conveyes what would take a very complex sentence in other languages. I was intrigued.  I was totally hooked.  I decided that I had to explore this more!

I actually knew some Turkish since I went to high school with some very nice Turkish boys (one certainly did give me a nice education . . .) and I could still remember about 20 words, and the alphabet!  Admittedly the alphabet isn’t that different from English, and each letter has only ONE sound.  What a concept! 

Also according to the United States Department of State, Turkish is one of 13 languages that they feel that there is a critical need to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering.

And of course Turkey, Istanbul, a land of mystery, and lot of really old stuff!
So my goal is to read at least one book in Turkish this year.  I have decided that this book is - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The tttgoddess

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